Thursday, November 8, 2012

from the desk of ICDC

Dear ICDC,
As much as I try to clean up the clutter on my coffee table, bedside tables and kitchen counter, it just keeps coming back!  Is there anything I can do to try to organize things like cell phones, books and lots of small but necessary things for daily life?  Help!

Clutter Girl

Dear Clutter Girl,

Corral the clutter with trays!  I'm sure you've got one or two hidden in a closet somewhere, so pull them out.  Serving trays ­– in any vintage, shape or size – are delightfully versatile and provide chic organization and display for any number of objects.

Here are 10 uses for that tray you haven't seen since last Christmas:

1. Books & Magazines
Have tons of books lying around the house?  Collect, stack and display them in a tray on your coffee table.

2.  Collectible Curator
Whether tucked away on a bookshelf or on display on a side table, trays are the perfect way to show off the objects you love to collect, such as pottery, candlesticks, beautiful geological pieces or little jars of sea shells.  ICDC has a collection of quartz picked up on nature walks displayed on a little silver tray!

3. Instant Bar
Create your own mini-bar. Place a large tray on a luggage rack or buffet and top with glassware, liquor, mixers and wine. When you’re entertaining, add little dishes with lemon wedges, olives and cherries for garnish.

4.  Dresser
A tray’s shallow depth and short sides make it a perfect solution to contain makeup, all those tubes of lip gloss that seem to multiply miraculously, perfume, jewelry, etc. Use small dishes or jars to organize like items, such as lipsticks, makeup brushes or earrings.  ICDC picked up a single Paragon bone china tea cup from the flea market, with the most beautiful flower inside, to corral earrings.

5.  Front Hall
Place a tray on a console near or in your front hall/door so anything you drop down when you walk in can be kept tidy, like your wallet, sunglasses, keys, loose change or cell phone.

6.  Kitchen Companion
An organized kitchen allows the chef to efficiently maximize her cooking time.  Keep cooking essentials within easy reach near the stove:  olive oil, vinegar, salt and pepper grinder and anything else you need to whip up your favorite meals.

7.  Impromptu Coffee Table
No coffee table? Use your tray to create a flat surface on your ottoman or sofa for a glass, remote, magazines or other items.

8.  Daily In-Box
Designate a spot on your desk for a tray, so you can quickly collect mail, receipts, school papers, invitations and magazines. Go through your box once a week to respond to invitations, bills, etc.

9.  Pretty Planter
If you have a green thumb, create a naturally attractive display with potted ivy, herbs, cacti and other succulents. Creating a consolidated display on trays helps bring order and prevents a messy, scattered look. Plus, it makes watering easier.

10.  Bedside Table
Place books, reading glasses, TV remote and other items in a tray to bring a
feeling of serenity and calm to your place of repose.
Hope this helps!
 images from lonny magazine, country living and ICDC files.

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